12 Replies Latest reply on Apr 20, 2013 3:10 PM by shooternz

    Creative advice - 5 camera shoot

    Allynn Wilkinson Level 3

      I shot an interesting play last week.  It took place in several rooms of an empty house with the actors (and audience) moving from room to room.  Fortunately, I shot final dress so there was no real audience (only a couple of stage managers).  There wasn't so much of a "plot" - more just vignette pieces about five religious martyrs from different historic periods.  The whole thing was told in 5 sections (one central scene that included everyone) and it looped around twice (presumably so the audience that was fragmented could watch a different part of the show the second time through).  There was a "going up to heaven" scene at the end that also included everyone.


      There were five camera people with mono-pods following the actors around.  Everyone kept the camera running throughout (even if there was nothing going on in their space at the time).  So now I've got it and it's all synced up.  There is considerable bleed through of sound from one scene to the other (intentional, since the actors react to the noises they hear).  This means I can't really cheat and "stretch time" to show overlapping scenes;  I've got to be fairly true to real-time events.


      I was trying to multicam it but it's long format AVCHD and grinds to a halt fairly instantly.  Next, I started to cut up the nest itself by watching each camera for each section in isolation and keeping only the very best parts (it is inevitable that some parts of scenes will never been shown).  This is working, a bit, but it's slow going.


      I was wondering if anyone here has edited anything similar (well...you know what I mean ;-)  The show was very interesting and creative and I'd like to give a good account of it so any ideas are welcome. 



        • 1. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
          Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

          Not sure for which creativity you're asking for...


          If your main concern is your machine incapable of handling AVCHD in multicam, than you may resort with proxies. See e.g. this discussion.

          If you're asking for something else, please describe it a bit clearer...

          • 2. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
            Allynn Wilkinson Level 3

            Oh it's not the multicam that I'm concerned about.  The show is only an hour so I could easily transcode to proxies. 


            I'm more interested in how to approach the edit from a creative point of view.  I'm looking for ideas on how to showcase 3 or 4 simultaneous vignettes.  Some are monologues, most are dialogues or arguments, some are just movement pieces.  Each is only around 5 minutes or so.

            • 3. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
              Steven L. Gotz Level 5

              I have not had something similar but I have had multicam issues on an older PC. It was a concert with 12 cameras.


              When the PC can't handle a real multicam edit, it basically means that you almost create your own multicam edit. You could use proxies but I suggest you try this instead. A few minutes into the production and you will know if this will work for you or not.


              I don't suggest nesting. I did something similar to your method though.


              I put each scene on it's own sequence. I then cut away any scene that was not exactly what I wanted. I only kept the best of the best. I did this for each sequence. Keep the scene on a single track. Just cut away the parts you don't expect to use.


              Then I copied each track over to a newly created master sequence.  That would give you video on tracks one through five but they are the original clips. not nested.


              At this point you can visually see the overlap and the gaps. Work on the overlaps first. Make the tough decisions. Keep in mind that in places where there might be something visually attractive but no dialog, you might be able to time shift that footage over to the gaps. To easily see the video on the lower track, temporarily poke out the eyeball on the higher track then restore it when ready.


              Where it might get tough for you is that there might be story missing if you eliminate the overlaps. So you might need to come up with a way to timeshift some of it anyway in order to show it all. Probably using creatively placed split screen.

              • 4. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                For simultaneous action, there are only three possible techniques that I'm aware of.  Split screen, PiP, and non-real time sequential (or intercut).

                • 5. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
                  Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                  ideas on how to showcase 3 or 4 simultaneous vignettes. 

                  Ah, OK. Then split screen is probably whey you want, and Picture in Picture (PiP). Keep in mind that the PiP can float around the frame and not be stuck in one place. Also keep in mind that the PiP does not have to be the entire frame of the superimposed video. It can be cropped to just show the actor's head or bust, or can be tall to show the standing actor but not the scene around him/her. The split screen does not have to be in the middle of the frame, and you can have more than one split - three or four can work with widescreen frames. It is just kind of a hassle sometimes to keep the actor in the center of the PiP or Split Screen when they are walking around. But it can be done with a little practice.

                  • 6. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
                    Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                    See e.g. this Green Hornet Multicam Scene:



                    By the way, here is the discussion on how to reproduce it.

                    • 7. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
                      Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                      Good example of taking it to the limit. Didn't think of that one but it is pretty cool.

                      • 8. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
                        Allynn Wilkinson Level 3

                        Thanks, everyone...


                        Steven... when I say "nest" I mean what you said (sort of).  I synced all the clips up in a multiclip and then realized that a multicam sequence wasn't going to work.  That's when I went back to (a copy) of the multiclip opened in the timeline (so I had all five video and audio tracks).  Then I locked and turned off all but one angle and started cutting from there.  Very convenient because you can see where you've got holes and where you've got overlap.  And, if I ever want to, I can turn it into a multicam sequence.  So basically I'm doing just what you suggest.  Hope it works!


                        Fuzzy, I liked your Green Hornet example, especially the beginning with the overlayed speaker.  I think I can really make use of that.  I was planning on having dialogue audio continue through other scenes.  Now I'm thinking of keeping the actor visible too.

                        • 9. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
                          Jim_Simon Level 8

                          Ah, superimposition.  That's one I hadn't though of.

                          • 10. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
                            joe bloe premiere Level 5

                            superimposition (n)

                            1. A house full of inlaws for Thanksgiving


                            • 12. Re: Creative advice - 5 camera shoot
                              shooternz Level 6

                              Without seeing the show...I think I would still cut it in a "narrative" film style.


                              Cutting / transitioning back and forth to the key action/performance/dialogue.


                              I think film style narrative will best give an editor...a directorial input and convey what the editor "got out of the performance piece as a viewer". 


                              Lots of opportunity for creativity in the sound design and mix also.  eg the audio is from an off screen source and the camera is on the reaction...etc


                              I woiuld hate to watch an hour of multi screen...unless its designed for an art gallery piece!


                              Lots of scope for you anyway if all the footage and performance ( anfd lighting) is of a high standard.


                              Maybe a great piece to have dfferent editors ( film school even) have a go... and see what emerges.